Ironically, this story comes to us via Howie Carr of the Boston Herald. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has the usual politician’s desire to promise a chicken in every pot, but a more expansive vision … and expensive as well. Not only will the Commonwealth give welfare recipients a free car, but they’ll throw in a free AAA membership on top of it:
And here I always thought “Welfare Cadillac” was just a stupid novelty song from 1970.
Now it turns out Guy Drake’s tune is another state entitlement here in Massachusetts, compliments of the Department of Transitional Assistance, formerly known as welfare.
In Gov. Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts, if you’re on the dole, you may be eligible to get a free car. So much for the budget Armageddon they keep talking about at the State House. …
Nice enough that the layabouts get a free car – plus the state picks up the tab for insurance, excise tax, title, registration, inspection, and approved repairs. The absolute frosting on the cake is a free AAA membership.
Please, try not to let this newest handout destroy your faith in the truth of the budget crisis. You’re just angry because you can’t afford AAA. But your average welfare leech needs guaranteed road service a lot more than you do.
Carr’s ire is directed at a program to shuffle donated cars to welfare recipients on the pledge that they will get jobs with their new-found independent transportation. The program has been in existence a while, but Patrick increased their budget by $30,000 this year despite the economic crash. The cars may be donated, but they cost the state about $6,000 each for repair, licensing, insurance — and of course that AAA membership.
What happened to public transportation? Doesn’t this amount to a repudiation of public transport for everyday commuting? Liberals in and out of government insist that public transportation is completely sufficient for commuters and encourage people to stop driving their cars to work. This seems to contradict that entire notion.
In the overall scheme, $430,000 a year may not amount to much, and the $6,000 per car may pale in comparison to food stamps, housing subsidies, and the like that a car and a job could prevent. However, everyone’s hurting right now, and government spends other people’s money. Patrick and his administration should be setting an example by trimming outlays, not expanding them, especially to hand out cars and club memberships that other Massachusetts residents have to forego themselves to save money.
On the other hand, maybe Patrick could start giving away the Stimu-Wagon: